Greene King - Wexford Irish Style Crème Ale
- ABV: 5.0%
- Bottle Size: 440-ml
- Int’l Bittering Units (IBUs): 23
- Serving Temperature: 40-45° F
- Suggested Glassware: Pint Glass or Mug
- Hops: Challenger, Admiral, Boadicea, First Gold, Wye Goldings
Don't be alarmed if this beer opens with a bit of enthusiasm. Wexford uses a pressurized nitro "widget," a popular feature among some British and Irish beers that often are referred to as cream ales due to the nitro smoothness. (Not to be confused with American cream ales, which are a different style.) Definitely pour this one into a glass to observe the rich, dense, light beige mousse of very persistent nitrogen foam that forms atop this deep reddish-amber brew. On the nose, look for caramel malts and well-developed notes of apple and stone fruits, hints of vanilla, impressions of graham cracker, and light touches of earthy and lightly herbal hops. On the palate, this Irish brew comes through with prominent toasty bread crust notes with caramel undertones, and there's a moderate sweetness here that conjures a bit of a cake-like impression. Expect a somewhat honeyed character throughout, while a dose of fruitiness wells up from below, riding on an ultra-smooth nitrogenated body. Hop bitterness is low, but other hoppy notes land with an earthy character and some herbally, spicy flourishes. For pairing options, roasted fowl tops our list, along with turkey sandwiches, fish & chips, Shepherd's Pie, baked beans, or a burger with caramelized onions. Sláinte!
The story of England's iconic Greene King brewery begins with its founding in 1799 by Benjamin Greene, who was just 19 years old at the time. In 1806, and with the help of an elderly partner named William Buck, Greene purchased Wright's Brewery and renamed it Westgate Brewery after the street on which it sat. In 1836 the business was handed off to Benjamin's son, Edward, who presided over a period of impressive growth for several decades and made the unusual move, for the time, of offering employee pensions and housing benefits. In 1887, Frederick King, owner of struggling local rival, St. Edmunds Brewery, decided to merge his enterprise with Edward's, with the new combined business going by the name of Greene, King and Sons.
Fast forward to the latter half of the 20th century, and Green King had grown their brewing and pub operations to national prominence. In the U.K., it's common for breweries to own pubs – sometimes dozens or hundreds – across the country, providing a ready outlet for the brewery's beers. Greene King's pub business would continue to be a major factor in the company's growth all the way to the present day. In 1999, Greene King acquired over 500 new pubs from Marston's Brewery and a merger with Abingdon's Morland Brewery which also brought on board Morland's iconic beers such as Old Speckled Hen and Tanner's Jack, which long-time club members will be familiar with. Greene King's growth has continued throughout the early 2000s with acquisitions of additional breweries and pubs including Scotland's Belhaven Brewery which, though owned by Greene King, continues its operations in Belhaven where it has been brewing Scottish ales since at least 1719. Greene King is now Britain's largest brewer and pub operator, producing a wide range of traditional British ales on draft, cask, and for retail sale. For more info on this historic brewery, visit www.greeneking.co.uk.
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